Mining made the West. And the rush to the Nederland area to mine gold, silver and, eventually, tungsten is the reason these mountain towns exist today. As the gateway to the front-range, Nederland, Ward, Gold Hill, Black Hawk, Eldora and the other small towns in the foothills of Boulder became the focus of the nation in 1858.
From 1859 to the 1880's, Nederland served as a supply depot and mill center for the SILVER boom in nearby Caribou. Discovery of GOLD around 1899 in Eldora revived area fortunes for a short time. In 1905 miners discovered the value of TUNGSTEN for hardening steel and realized the Nederland valley was a rich source full of it. During World War I, Nederland became the center of world tungsten production. Mining and milling continued until the 1970's. Gold is still mined nearby today.